Elf on the Shelf ideas for toddlers can be super easy on Christmas Eve.
Photo courtesy of Samantha Darby

25 Easy Elf On The Shelf Christmas Eve Ideas Your Toddler Will Love

And won’t wear you out too much.

Originally Published: 

When you have a toddler in the house, it doesn't get any better than Christmas Eve. Their off-the-charts excitement for Santa’s arrival is completely contagious, and your Elf on the Shelf's presence all month long helped build the anticipation. But all good things must come to an end. Your child might be crushed once they actually realize that their beloved Scout won't be around come Christmas morning, so you’ve got to make sure he or she goes out with a bang. These easy Elf on the Shelf Christmas Eve ideas for toddlers will conveniently set up the elf for his departure (and Kris Kringle's arrival).

As a parent, Christmas Eve offers many reasons to rejoice, and one of them is that I no longer have to find a hiding spot for our Elf on the Shelf. After weeks of moving that little doll around the house, and waking up in a panic on the nights when I forgot, it's pretty glorious to have the Elf’s reign come to an end. On the night before Christmas Eve, I love going all out and doing one last epic scene, because in 24 hours, I get to pack Scout up and store him away until next year.

If you need some inspiration for your own Elf on the Shelf send-off, here are 25 easy-yet-grand finales that will make saying goodbye just a little bit easier. Some are sweet, some are funny, and others are pretty hilarious. The style you choose all depends on you, and your little Elf.


Spell Goodbye

On Christmas Eve, the Elf's work is finally done, and it's time to say goodbye until next year. Have him bid adieu to your household by spelling out "Bye" in marshmallows or candy canes.

If you're the crafty type, make him a little sign that says, "Ho Ho Ho, I gotta go! See you next year!"


Stuff A Stocking

Elf on the Shelf is the ultimate stocking stuffer. Have her nesting in your child's stocking for a fun surprise to wake up to on Christmas Eve. You can explain that she's making sure the stocking has enough room for all of the gifts Santa will (hopefully) bring later.


Stage Elfie Shark

Getting your kid to take a bath on Christmas Eve can be a hard task considering all the excitement. But, if you cleverly place your Elf in the bath with a fun "Elfie Shark" sign that morning like @jessica_telfer did, you might just win bath time.


Pop Down The Chimney

Santa isn't the only one who comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve. Have your Elf get in on the fun. Place it in the fireplace and rub a little soot on her nose and sprinkle some coffee grounds on the floor. She's just making sure the chimney is all set for Santa's arrival, after all.


Scan A Selfie

Elf might be ready to go back to the North Pole for some rest after all those nights flying back and forth, but your kids are going to miss him. Take some inspiration from @sammistewart18 and have Elf scan himself so he can leave a little memento behind!


Power Up!

After an entire month of nightly flights to the North Pole, Elf is understandably tired. To help energize her for one last trip, place a cup of coffee next to her to make sure she's got plenty of fuel!


Play One Last Game

Your little Elf has been entertaining your kiddos all season long with his antics. For one last hurrah, set him up playing a final game of Tic-Tac-Toe as @karilynnjansen staged.


Leave Out Reindeer Snacks

Your elf's last good deed could be helping your kids get the house ready for Santa's arrival. Place your Elf next to a plate of carrots or reindeer biscuits to show the kids exactly what Santa's travel companions will be craving.


Stage A Wedding

If you have two Elves in your home, stage a wedding, like @bellelisec3, for a grand finale scene. Leave a little note that says that your two elves couldn't help but fall in love over the past few months, and now they're going back to the North Pole as Mr. and Mrs., or Mrs. and Mrs., or Mr. and Mr.


Say Goodbye To New Friends

Your little Elf made some great new friends this season. On Christmas Eve, have her say goodbye to the toys in your house, like @fotolove6 did with these Minions.


Bow For It

If you have bows leftover after you finish wrapping your presents, here's the perfect use for them: Stage a climbing wall for Elfie, like @mirandabrooke_, and your kiddos will think it's the coolest stunt yet.


Get Trapped In The TV

If you're looking to retire your Elf for good, you can do a clever trick that parents the world over are getting in on and have her get trapped in the TV!


Sled On Out The Door

Take a red Solo Cup, and cut it so your “cup” is about an inch or so high all around. Place your Elf inside, position it on your doorstep, or outside on a (preferably snowy) hill. Then snap a pic of your buddy sledding out of your house, on her way back to the North Pole! You can project the photo onto your Smart TV with Apple TV, or print it out for your kids to see on Christmas morning. They’ll learn just how Elfie made her grand exit.


Seal It With A Kiss

Is there anything cuter than an elf giving out free kisses on Christmas Eve? The little chocolates provide the sweetest way to send off Santa's helper.


Prep For Vacation

Your Elf has been hard at work this December and now it's time for a big vacation. Put a lei around your Elf or pack her a little suitcase, because she's headed to the tropics for some R&R!


Leave Sparkly Steps


Use glitter (or powdered sugar, if you just can't deal with the whole glitter thing) and doll shoes to make tracks towards the front door (or the chimney). And if your little elf happens to accidentally leave a shoe behind in its path, save it for next year when Elf reappears wearing only one shoe.


Take A Sleeping Selfie

Pose your elf in bed next to your sleeping child and snap a pic (this only works if your tot is a heavy sleeper). Print out the photo and leave it by the tree with a note: "I had fun with you this year! See ya next Christmas!"


Give Kisses For Cookies

After Santa eats his cookies, place a few Christmas-colored Hershey's Kisses on the empty plate and write a note: "Hitched a ride with Santa to the North Pole! Here are some kisses for being such a great pal this year."


Leave The First Gift


Let your Elf be the giver of your kid's first gift on Christmas morning: Write out a tag from your elf to your tot, and add a quick "goodbye" message.


Say It With M&Ms

Sure, your toddler may not be able to read yet, but you can still spell out a goodbye message using red and green M&Ms (or Skittles, or even marshmallows) and say it out loud. Just keep it simple ("Bye! Love ya!"), or you'll run out of candy fast.


Climb Up The Chimney


Spill out your kiddo’s LEGO or Duplo blocks at the foot of your fireplace. Build a set of stairs and lean the finished staircase against the fireplace to make it look like your elf built itself a staircase to shoot up the chimney (and left you with a little mess to clean up on Christmas morning).


Assemble His Friends To Say Goodbye

How sweet would it be if your little ones woke up on Christmas morning to find their stuffies and dolls all lined up — say, by the fireplace, or the front door, or below the shelf where your elf typically sat? You can explain to your kids that the elf made a lot of friends, and they all came out Christmas Eve night to wish him well on his journey back home.


Set Up One Last Prank

If your family has a more mischievous Elf, it might be fitting if she rode off into Christmas Eve night on the tails of one last prank. How about covering your kiddo’s bed in Hershey’s Kisses? Or ripping open one of your kid’s presents under the tree with a note that says, “Sorry...I peeked!”


Wake Up In The North Pole

Before the kids wake up, set your smart TV to play these musical scenes from the North Pole. As you all “wake up” together, you’ll be surprised to find the TV on and set to the sights and sounds of Santa’s village. Your little Elf must have left it on to let you all know that he arrived safely home.


Make A Photo Collage

Stage a fabulous last night for your elf: Take photos of the elf singing carols with the other toys, wrapping presents, baking cookies. Print out the pics and arrange them in a collage so you can show your toddler how the elf spent his final evening with your family.